Former World No. 1 Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from the PGA Tour after being listed on the field for next week’s controversial LIV Golf Invitational Series.
The two-time major champion, who is now ranked 13th in the world, is at the top of the list of 42 players announced, along with former Masters winner Charles Schwartzel and 20th-ranked Louis Ostuygen. Australian Matt Jones also came on the field. All of these players face the possibility of a PGA Tour ban for joining the rebel tour.
Other big names on the list are British former world No. 1 Westwood and 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia, both of whom have expressed interest in joining.
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Johnson’s inclusion on the field came in February despite being told that he was loyal to the PGA Tour when he said: “I think now is the time to put an end to such speculation. I am fully committed to the PGA Tour.”
Although he changed his tune in May, adding that he was “excited to see what happens” with the LIV Golf Invitational, it remains to be seen whether he will be a part of it.
“Dustin has been thinking about the opportunity for the last few years. In the end, he decided it was in his and his family’s best interests to pursue it,” Johnson’s manager told several leading reporters on Wednesday.
“Dustin has never had a problem with the PGA Tour and is grateful for what it has given him, but in the end, it felt like it was too much to pass.”
Australian Greg Norman will lead the Saudi-backed LIV golf event.
Meanwhile, American Phil Mickelson was not included in the main field.
The 51-year-old Saudi international has not played since February 6, where he infamously accused the PGA Tour of being “hateful greed”.
The LIV Golf Invitation will be held June 9-11 at Centurion Club, just outside London, UK.
The event has a prize money of 35 million, supported by the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Saudi Arabia.
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